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Attention-based visual processes.

Attention is often compared to a spotlight or locus of enhanced processing. We have found that this gain comes with certain unexpected costs. Specifically, judgments of positions of stimuli surrounding an attended event are distorted, repelled away from the additional focus. But there is more to attention than just selection. Our work shows that it is better characterized as an image which keeps track of attended objects. We find that the resolution or grain of attention--the finest packing of targets which still allows an individual item to be identified and tracked--is much coarser than the smallest visual feature which can be resolved. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)